Visitor Question

Injured first day working at a place not legally registered as a business…

Submitted By: Curious (NY)

I had an accident and was injured the first day I started working in a place that’s not legally registered as a business, and there is no way I can prove I worked there. I called an ambulance but had to do it outside, 2 blocks away from where the accident actually happened. This was all in NYC.

What are my options? I don’t think the place even has workers’ compensation insurance. Do I have any chance of getting compensated for the injury? If so, please elaborate. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Curious,

Unless you have state or federal tax forms, a contract of employment or other written evidence of your employment, it will be difficult to prove you were actually an employee, and thereby be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

While you may have a very difficult time establishing employment for the purposes of workers’ comp, you may still have a viable personal injury claim against your employer. That will depend upon whether or not he or she placed you in danger, knowing there was a likelihood you could be injured.

To pursue a civil action against your employer will require you to establish the employer knew, or should have known the job duties he or she was requiring of you were likely to result in injury. If that’s the case, then you may have the basis of a personal injury claim against the employer.

In that case, you would be able to pursue the employer for your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for such items as medication, bandages, crutches, costs of travel to and from treatment, etc.), lost wages, and for your pain and suffering.

Learn more here: "Off the Books" Work Injuries

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,


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